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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Learning and Evaluation Oversight Group - expert reviews

List of expert reviews awarded funding to support Scotland’s response to, and recovery from, COVID-19.


The Office of the Chief Social Policy Adviser issued a grant funding call for expert reviews to inform the work of the COVID-19 Learning and Evaluation Oversight Group. Below - and in no particular order - is a list of the expert reviews which have been awarded funding.  

Organisation and project lead: YouthLink Scotland - Mr Kevin Kane

Title: Youth work’s role in responding to and recovery from COVID-19

Description: To map wider successful and innovative interventions from youth work practitioners and key partners to reinforce and provide additional insight to Scottish Government evaluations of COVID-19. The focus will be on Scotland but will include other jurisdictions.  The mapping will seek to acknowledge and highlight specific areas where youth work helps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people, mental health, learning and development, noting where successful pieces of work can be scaled up.  The project aims to identify any gaps to aid future planning. 

Organisation and project lead: UNCOVER [The Usher Network for COVID-19 Evidence Reviews], University of Edinburgh - Dr Ruth McQuillan and Professor Evropi Theodoratou

Title: An Evaluation of International Pandemic Recovery Strategies and Identification of Good Practice Relevant to Scotland

Description: To identify and prioritise policies, interventions and examples of good practice, which may help to address the three themes of the COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, and its stated aim of making life better than it was before the pandemic for Scotland’s most disadvantaged citizens. The project will establish a set of comparator countries and regions for Scotland and then identify and summarise the COVID-19 recovery plans produced by comparator countries and regions. In accordance with the three key themes of Scotland’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, it will construct and critically appraise a systematic evidence map of policies and interventions included in comparators' recovery plans.

Organisation and project lead: Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Glasgow - Professor Michael Roy

Title: Innovation and Creativity in the Third Sector in response to COVID-19: A Rapid Realist Evidence Synthesis

Description: To understand the role of third sector organisations in innovating to ensure support to vulnerable and disadvantaged people during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will: 1. Increase knowledge and understanding of third sector innovation and provide context and insights into how, and in what ways third sector organisations adapted service delivery to provide support to vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities; 2. Support the approach of the Scottish Government and other key decision-makers and third sector partners in public service reform by providing useable/practical insights on the learning from the pandemic.

Organisation and project lead: Fraser of Allander Institute - Ms Emma Congreve

Title: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on income: labour market changes and policy solutions

Description: To fill the gap in post-pandemic data on household incomes by providing estimates of household incomes at the start of the financial year 2022-23. It will provide an updated snapshot of household incomes to compare to pre-pandemic levels by different household type, age, and other characteristics of interest. It will also model a small number of policies using the new snapshot to compare impact and cost. Analysis of household income data is critical to understand distributional and equality implications of shocks to the economy and/or the impact of poverty and an up to date understanding of the income distribution will be important for policy makers looking to prioritise spend. This work will provide insights on household income that would otherwise be absent and further information on the relative impact of different policies that will add to the evidence base on potential solutions to harm caused during the pandemic.   

Organisation and project lead: University of Glasgow - Dr Paulina Trevena 

Title: Addressing the needs of Scotland’s migrant and minority ethnic populations under COVID-19: Lessons for the future

Description: To support building a fairer Scotland by providing policymakers with expertise about the service provision needs of migrant and minority ethnic populations in COVID-19 recovery and future crisis planning. The project will: 1. Identify inequalities in accessing public and third sector service provision by migrant and minority ethnic communities in Scotland during COVID-19; 2. Evaluate the effectiveness of COVID-19 adaptations and innovations in public and third sector service provision for Scotland’s migrant and minority ethnic communities; 3. Draw lessons for the future based on examples of best practice and innovation in public and third sector service provision for migrant and minority ethnic communities during COVID-19.

Organisation and project lead: Glasgow Caledonian University - Professor Sara Cantillon

Title: COVID-19 and the Centrality of Care: Creating a Resilient and Equitable Society (CARES)

Description: To explore the impact of the crisis on the gendered and intersectional distribution of unpaid care work and to understand the extent of pandemic-induced (temporary) shifts in care roles within households in Scotland. Adopting an intersectional approach, the project will; Interrogate from different household perspectives how the gendered balance of care work has shifted (or not) since COVID -19; Understand in which households change has occurred, and the family-specific and wider mediating factors; understand how policy measures and interventions in Scotland have (or have not) supported unpaid care work, and understand how policy measures could be harnessed to support equitable changes in the distribution of care work.

Organisation and project lead: Edinburgh Napier University, University of Dundee, University of Edinburgh - Dr Katrina Morrison

Title: A review of interventions, innovation and the impact of COVID-19 in the Scottish prison system within a comparative analytical framework

Description: To identify and analyse the currently available evidence relating to the impact of COVID-19 in prison settings, with a focus on recovery. This project will review evidence from Scotland and beyond on experiences of COVID-19 in prisons, and identify transferable learning to inform Scotland’s COVID Recovery Strategy. It will; focus on innovations in prison policy and practice that may prove valuable for the future of imprisonment in Scotland, as well as those that may have wider resonance across the public sector; and identify gaps in current evidence and develop plans for future comparative research on impacts of COVID-19 in prisons.

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